KNOWING THE FATHER

Wednesday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time      

            Jesus, in today’s gospel passage, discloses that he is indeed the one who reveals the Father. He alone can reveal God to human beings. This is the very heart of Christianity. What Jesus is saying is this: “If you want to see what God is like… if you want to see the mind of God, the nature of God… if you want to see God’s whole attitude to humans… look at me!”

            What does knowing the Father mean? In the Scripture – particularly in the Old Testament – to know God is not merely to have intellectual knowledge of him. To know God requires an intimate personal relationship, deep communion, and a radical commitment.

            What does this entail? What does this demand from us? To know God, we must spend enough time to be with him – putting ourselves in the presence of the Lord. And it entails having regular time in silent prayer – a time for communion and communication with God. Listening and reflecting on the words of the Scripture. Receiving his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Experiencing his power in the Sacraments. Discovering his goodness in the blessings we receive. Seeing his greatness and beauty in nature. Perceiving his presence in our sisters and brothers. Being aware of his guiding hand in everything that happens to us. To know the Father in this way and on this level is the source of our joy and happiness in this life. Indeed, we can only attain such intimate relationship with the Father through prayer.

            Prayer is meant to be more than just ‘asking’; it is meant to be something quite different. Prayer is an invitation to come home, to be loved, to be nurtured, to be refreshed. “Praying… demands a relationship in which you allow the other to speak there, allow him to touch the sensitive core of your being, and allow him to see so much that you would rather leave in darkness.” (Henri Nouwen)

            Again, prayer is the call to intimacy with God, the call to intimacy with Jesus. Prayer is listening to what he would whisper to us. Prayer is being renewed by his loving presence. Prayer is being exposed, embraced, and healed by him who alone knows what is best for us.

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